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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Pac-12: Stage set for Stanford-UCLA rematch

Nearly every forecast of the Pac-12 football season called for a rematch of a November contest in the conference championship game.

It’s just that everybody thought it would be Oregon vs. USC, not Stanford vs. UCLA.

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That’s exactly what will happen, if Stanford beats the Bruins on the road Saturday. The teams would meet again Nov. 30 at Stanford with a Rose Bowl berth at stake.

That’s the fallout of Saturday’s upsets, UCLA’s 38-28 win over USC and Stanford’s 17-14 overtime defeat of Oregon.

The effect in the AP Top 25 is illustrated in this week’s rankings: Oregon No. 5, Stanford No. 11, UCLA No. 15 and Oregon State No. 16. USC fell out of the rankings.

UCLA has clinched the Pac-12 South title; Stanford needs another victory to claim the North crown, assuming Oregon wins at Oregon State. In that case, the Cardinal would host the championship game, based on a better conference record than UCLA.

If Oregon wins and Stanford loses, the Ducks would host UCLA. But if there’s a three-way tie for the North title (involving OSU), Stanford would advance to the title game – at UCLA, because that would mean the Bruins beat Stanford in the regular season.

Got all that?

The bottom line is that everything is in place for the strangest possible scenario in the Pac-12 title game: a rematch six days later, with Oregon and USC nowhere to be found.

The situation brings UCLA’s motivation for Saturday’s game into some degree of question, although the Bruins know that a sequence of events could enable them to host the title game.

Meanwhile, Arizona State (6-5) became the Pac-12’s eighth bowl-eligible team with a rout of Washington State. Utah (4-7) is not mathematically eliminated, even after its 34-24 loss to Arizona, because of a new provision that allows bowls to select 5-7 teams if absolutely necessary. But besides beating Colorado on Friday, the Utes would need a bunch of five-win teams to lose next weekend.</

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Photos: UA sports Throwback Thursday Chase Budinger
» UA fall sports carry big expectations into 2014
» UA announces 2014 sports Hall of Fame class
» UA football: Notes and quotes from Wednesday's practice

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU selects captains, awards 5 scholarships
» Boateng taking reins at hybrid LB spot
» Photos in lockers inspire players
» ASU practice report from Wed. morning

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal's goal in Dykes' second season is to establish running game
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll
» Cal football: Sonny Dykes upbeat after closed scrimmage

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado senior receiver D.D. Goodson: not overlooked by coaches
» Colorado redshirt freshman Phillip Lindsay: two touchdown runs in scrimmage gave me confidence
» Buffs offense to "move guys around," says receivers coach Troy Walters
» Colorado special teams looking for many happy returns in 2014

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Former Oregon Ducks running back Jonathan Stewart scores twice for Carolina Panthers against Kansas City
» ESPN's preseason all-conference team; David Shaw vs top 25; Adoree' Jackson does it all: Pac-12 roundup
» Iman Marshall, five-star cornerback, announces official visit list, asks fans for help
» Micah Abernathy, four-star cornerback, sets first official visit to Oregon Ducks

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director
» Oregon State hands out Bennys to top athletes, coaches and teams
» OSU fishing: MacDonald, Martinez win conference tournament

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford football: Defensive coordinator learns from 49ers counterpart
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll
» Stanford football: Tailbacks Kelsey Young, Remound Wright miss scrimmage

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Huskies morning links: UW offering a new cheap ticket option (with beer!)
» UW football live chat at noon today
» Chris Petersen's mission: Make the Huskies great again
» Huskies hope to do a better job protecting quarterbacks

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Ewu sports chat Aug. 21 (noon)
» Football season has officially begun
» Eastern football links
» One more week



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